So when you become a Personal Trainer and start an Instagram page, you get followed by lots of other Personal Trainers. I look through their posts and think “good God this is so not me!” There are lots of impressive physiques, young fit bodies, washboard abs, perfect butts, and fabulous arms! Bodies like that take a lot of time and discipline to achieve both eating and in the gym, and well…I’m just not that into it. Don’t get me wrong I love the way I feel and look since losing weight and exercising regularly, I feel great! However, I have lots of other things that make me feel great too.
Like watching my daughter play softball, hanging out with my son when he plays video games, spending time sitting and chatting with my husband over a drink on a Friday night. I’d love to have rock hard abs, but I’m probably not willing to put in the disciplined eating and workouts needed to achieve them. And you know what, that’s OK!!!! I eat healthy 90% of the time, I exercise regularly, and I lead an active lifestyle. My favorite thing about losing 40 pounds….being able to pop up without effort if I’m sitting on the floor! How my priorities have changed since my 20s.
So here are some fitness tips for regular people, especially those of you just getting started or are thinking about getting started making some changes. You know who you are! You want to be stronger so you can lug mulch to your flower bed, and kneel down on the ground to plant bulbs. You want to be able to keep up with your kids or grandkids without feeling like you ran a marathon the next day. You want to sit comfortably in a seat at the theater without feeling wedged in. But you have no desire to spend hours in the gym or be unable to walk after a workout by Hans the personal trainer.
1. Eliminate sugar
I am not a dietician. But I don’t think it takes a degree to know, sugar is bad….mmmm? For me it’s like crack, one sugary treat leads to another, and forget having it in the house! I realized a long time ago I have zero will power, so I can not have junk food in the house. Does this mean no birthday cake at the party? No, of course not! But it should not be a regular part of your diet.
2. Read labels
This goes back to #1. Holy crap! Have you seen the ingredients in some of our food?? I mean it almost impossible to find an envelope of taco seasoning without sugar as an ingredient, or Beef stew seasoning! Look more at your ingredients than anything. I learned how to make my own taco seasoning, and guess what it tastes great without sugar. Know what’s in your food.
3. Just move!
And give yourself credit for it! Regular household chores like mowing the grass, mopping the floors, and scrubbing the tub burn calories. Make a goal to do some type of moving every day. Some days it may be going for a walk or getting work out in, some days it may be spending an hour weeding your garden. You are still moving, give your self some credit.
4. Start a Text group
I can’t take credit for this one. I got the idea from my sister. She and my niece and our cousin along with some friends started a text group to keep each other accountable for getting some sort of activity every day. When you’ve done your activity, you text the group “moving done” Sure there is lots of other banter in the group but no competition of “oh I did 5000 push-ups” or judgment, and lots of encouragement….lots of “good job” or “way to go”. And if someone is missing a few days, they will ask, “where is Sally? we haven’t heard from you lately” My sister has lost a ton of weight and looks fabulous and I think their text group really helped. In fact, I think everyone in the group has lost weight. Find your self a few supportive friends who have similar goals to you and start a text group, you don’t even have to live close.
5. Make your goals small and reasonable at the beginning
Losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks is not a realistic goal. How about taking a 10-minute walk Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before dinner. Achieving a goal feels satisfying even if it’s small, and motivates you to achieve more goals. However, failure can be very discouraging, and lead you to say “screw it! I’m gonna eat the whole pack of Oreos!”
6 . If you fall off the wagon, get right back on
What’s the saying? “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, just how many times you get up” This is true for fitness as well. You will skip workouts, you will eat junk, you may even put on 10 pounds when you just lost 5. But DON’T GIVE UP! I think this was one of the key things for me. I have been fat, I have been thin. But a year and a half ago I adopted a different mindset. If I got away from eating healthy or went a week without working out, I just started up again. The key….not beating myself up for it. I considered myself a healthy person in my mind. I just happened to take a week off or eat some unhealthy stuff but it was time to get back to my healthy self. I think we are our own worst enemy in our heads. We are too critical of ourselves and not forgiving enough when we fall.
So there it is 6 fitness tips for regular people, especially those just starting on a journey of fitness. Starting simple IS an option. Some people may be successful in diving into an intense exercise program and eating plan. ( I hate the word diet by the way) But for some, that is intimidating. Small behavior changes over time can lead to bigger results.